The threat of virus transmission due to aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) in the dental industry is not new. But with the rise of COVID-19, dental practitioners may want to consider an extraoral suction system to mitigate the risk.
An extraoral suction system is a chair side unit that reduces aerosol particles and fluids that are generated during dental procedures. These units aren’t new to the market, but their demand has increased in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are five things to consider:
1) Performance– It is crucial that you check the suction unit’s ability to extract particles via the airflow rate. With this, it is best to look for an extraoral suction system with 400 CFM (cubic feet per minute) base velocity. The advisable distance of the suction unit is 6 to 8 inches away, giving dentists more space to work.
2) Noise– Choose an extraoral suction system with a decibel level in the 60 to 65 dB scale indicated in its specifications. This range is reasonably quiet and will not cause disturbances during dental procedures. If the decibel is around the 70s, its noise is like the sound created by a kitchen garbage disposal.
3) Filter– The most crucial part of an extraoral dental suction system buying guide is the type of filter used. There are various types of filters for suction systems on the market, but the HEPA filter is the recommended type.
HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) has a 99.97% efficiency and can filter up to 0.3 microns. It has a 10-years life span and is more efficient in extracting viruses in saliva or sweat that can pass through its HEPA filter.
4) UV Light– Make sure to look at the technical specifications of the suction unit. The UV light will disinfect the air that infiltrates the device. Also, it is advisable to set it to the correct wavelength.
5) Price– Most extraoral suction systems range from $999 to $2,999.
Having an extraoral suction unit in a dental practice is now part of the new normal. However, with the number of extraoral suction systems in the market, you should look for the one that delivers consistency and reliability. Feel free to visit benco.com or call 1-800-GO-BENCO for additional guidance.